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Second Grade Activities on the Human Body

By Natasha Stiller

Consider how much students will learn with some movement activities as it relates to the functions within the human body of the lungs and heart. By engaging students with fresh games and lessons, students will be able to better explain their understanding of how their bodies work.

Learning With Movement

Science is such a complex subject, covering Earth Science, the body, chemistry, and so much more. For second graders science can be an amazing experience with a load of hands-on activities to help students explore the wonderful subject of science. Let’s explore some second grade science activities to study the body in an interactive way.

Learning About the Body

Most students enjoy hands-on learning activities and as an educator, I do too. I like to make my students really think about what is taking place and the best way to do this is to give them a visual and get the moving.

A great way to get kids thinking about the heart is to provide an activity that will allow them to understand how much the heart really works. For this activity you will need two large buckets, one full of water, a small cup, and children with a lot of energy. It goes without saying that you would be wise to participate in this activity outdoors. An adult’s heart rate is generally between 60-80 resting, while a child’s is higher, this can be tested by traditional methods, of counting the heart rates of a student’s heartbeat for 10 seconds and multiplying by 6. This is a fun lesson for students as well.

Back to the Buckets

Students will within a sixty minute time-span, try to work quickly and fill their cup and transfer water to the other bucket and try to complete the same amount of turns as the heart beats per minute. It’s quite challenging and unlikely to take place with one student working at a time. This will help visualize for students how much the heart works independent of us doing anything.

The lungs truly work in the same fashion. While we do work to breathe, it is a natural reaction of life. To help students understand the lungs, you can fashion two straws together, putting a rubber band around one end, but not too tight that air cannot get through, then putting rubber bands on the ends of the other side of straws, to represent two lungs. The rubber bands will need to be secured with rubber bands also, ensuring that they do not fall off once students blow into them.

Students can then fill their “lungs” with air, and visualize what the lungs look like as they are filling up and dispersing air throughout the body.

Clearing the Arteries

With a clear understanding of how the heart beats and how the lungs work, pictures of these parts of the body along with veins and arteries, the vessels that carry oxygen away and to the heart. Students can then play a game of jumping around to the parts of the body that would bring air to the body, the lungs, then to the veins, to carry clean air to the heart, then to the arteries that carry the air away from the heart. This is a fun little game that will keep kids engaged and understand the difference between the veins and arteries.

These second grade science activities to study the body help engage students with movement and they will be able to retain the lesson because they are exploring with more than one of their senses. Have fun with science.